What's the purpose of making a “below slot” high round draft pick?

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Drafting has changed dramatically with the new collective bargaining agreement. There are really great reasons to pick under slot players early in the draft.

First, a bit on how the draft slotting system works. Each draft position in the first ten rounds has a dollar value assigned. The first pick in the draft is worth a certain dollar amount, the last pick in the tenth round is worth significantly less money.

The dollar values for the picks a team controls are summed together to form a teams "bonus pool". They can use this money to sign all of the players they draft. If you exceed this pool you must pay penalties. The first 10% is just monetary penalties, if you spend more than 10% you start forfeiting future draft picks (which also means less bonus pool money in the following years). There is a great primer here on draft slots and the penalties.

Any player a team drafts after the tenth round may be signed for up to $100k without counting against their bonus...

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The first two days of baseball's annual three-day amateur draft are now in the books. Rounds 1-2 of the 2016 draft took place Thursday night while rounds 3-10 took place Friday afternoon. The draft concludes with rounds 11-40 on Saturday. Yes, 40 rounds. The draft used to be 100 rounds, you know.

For the purposes of information and entertainment, below is a recap of each club's draft haul to date. Keep in mind the bonus pool often dictates picks. Teams can not spend freely. They have a set bonus pool for the top 10 rounds -- picks after the 10th round are capped at $100,000 bonuses, with any overages counting against the pool -- and if they exceed the pool, they have to start forfeiting future first-round picks. No one wants to do that.

So, without further delay, here's a quick overview of each team's draft classes through the first 10 rounds.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Bonus Pool: $5,419,900

First pick: OF Anferee Greer, Auburn. Greer was...

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A draft is a process used in some countries and sports to allocate certain players to teams. In a draft, teams take turns selecting from a pool of eligible players. When a team selects a player, the team receives exclusive rights to sign that player to a contract, and no other team in the league may sign the player.

The best-known type of draft is the entry draft, which is used to allocate players who have recently become eligible to play in a league. Depending on the sport, the players may come from college, high school or junior teams or teams in other countries.

An entry draft is intended to prevent expensive bidding wars for young talent and to ensure that no one team can sign contracts with all of the best young players and make the league uncompetitive. To encourage parity, teams that do poorly in the previous season usually get to choose first in the postseason draft, sometimes with a "lottery" factor to discourage teams from deliberately losing.

Other...

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Pick 39 (Trade): Jeremiah Attaochu (OLB/DE, Georgia Tech)

With the first of the picks acquired from the Jaguars, the Seahawks address their need at defensive end. Seattle lost both starters at the position from the 2013 Super Bowl team in free agency, and they need to find some pass-rushing help to fill the void.

Jeremiah Attaochu would be just that. He was a 3-4 OLB in college, but he doesn't look comfortable or natural in coverage. This suggests that he might be better suited to be a 4-3 defensive end, especially as a LEO-type end like Seattle uses.

Attaochu is a natural pass-rusher with great speed and burst to get to the quarterback. It may take some time for him to develop into a complete player, but he will be able to make an immediate impact as a situational pass-rusher.

Pick 64: Gabe Jackson (OG, Mississippi State)

The Seahawks lost starting right tackle Breno Giacomin and key reserve guard/tackle Paul McQuistan in free agency. They...

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The NFL draft begins on Thursday. In the football world, it is a huge deal.

For non-football fans: this is when NFL teams select college football players to add to their rosters, the new players awkwardly hold up jerseys with the number one on them, and football fans everywhere freak out. The worst teams are given the highest picks, and if they want to improve, they need to use them as shrewdly as possible.

Teams that succeed — like the Seattle Seahawks, winners of this past season's Super Bowl — tend to build their rosters heavily through the draft, and merely supplement their drafted talent through trades and free agency. NFL executives invest huge amounts of time and resources into scouting players and ranking them, hoping to draft stars in the first round and solid contributors later on.

it's not their imperfect player evaluation, but their refusal to follow the principle of risk diversification

But here's the thing: despite years of data, most NFL...

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The pictures were over. Cole Tucker went to put on his new Pirates jersey at the podium after posing with general manager Neal Huntington, and several reporters waited in silence as Tucker maneuvered the buttons.

“You always say, you never want to be the guy up there fiddling with his buttons in front of the entire press conference,” Tucker said, breaking the silence and eliciting laughter. “It’s not the worst feeling in the world.”

That’s not unusual for Tucker, a shortstop from Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix whom the Pirates selected earlier this month in the first round of the amateur draft. He signed his contract Thursday and will fly to Bradenton, Fla., this morning to report to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Pirates.

“He knows this is serious, but he can’t wait to get to it because for him this is fun,” Tucker’s mom, Erin, said.

The slot value for the 24th pick, where the Pirates chose Tucker, was $1,925,500, according to Baseball...

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Three weeks ago, I prepared an analysis of the ill-fated Manny Ramirez-to-the-Mets deal. The workup applied some standard valuation techniques in an attempt to put a price on something that is notoriously difficult to quantify: the value achieved by dumping a big, backloaded contract. That article triggered about as much response as anything I've written in the past year. Most of the responses focused on complementary applications of the framework--those other difficult economic questions that both sabermetrics and traditional analysis have largely avoided.

For example: what is the value of a first-round draft pick? This is an essential thing for a baseball club to have a handle on. Under baseball's compensation rules, a team signing a Type A free agent must sacrifice its first-round draft pick (or its...

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List Criteria: Vote up the most-hyped first round picks who failed to perform after Draft Day.

The biggest first round NFL Draft pick busts are those players who were drafted really high, got monster rookie contracts then did little to nothing afterwards. From those who were overhyped only to fail to perform to those whose off-field problems outweighed their on-field performance, these are some of the worst NFL Draft picks of all time.

One name is frequently mentioned as not just the worst first round NFL draft pick ever but the biggest NFL Draft bust of all time: Ryan Leaf. In a fierce race with guaranteed Pro Football Hall of Fame future inductee Peyton Manning, Leaf was selected first overall in the 1998 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. That's where the fairy tale ends however as on- and off-field issues soon followed. As of 2012, Leaf was serving a lengthy prison sentence for burglary and drug charges. He played just 25 NFL games throwing 14 touchdowns and...

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At 5-foot-11, Kyle Kraus didn't expect to be a high pick in the Major League Baseball draft after going 7-6 with a 2.03 ERA as a senior at the University of Portland.

Then about 2 hours before second-day selections started June 7, his telephone rang. On the line with the 22-year-old right-hander was Pat Portugal, a Northwest area scout for the Boston Red Sox.

"They called me that Tuesday morning and said, 'Hey, we want a senior in the seventh round or the 10th round that will sign for $1,000. Would you do it?'" Kraus recalled. "I said: Yeah.'"

Signing bonuses have dropped for many top picks in this year's amateur draft, the first under restrictive rules adopted in baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. Teams face penalties if they exceed specified totals for their bonuses.

As a result, some clubs selected players they knew they could sign for close to nothing.

Kraus was taken with the 241st pick overall, assigned a value of $143,000 in...

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A little less than two months ago, the Houston Astros used the no. 1 overall pick in the MLB draft to select Brady Aiken, a left-handed pitcher out of Cathedral Catholic High School in California. Within 48 hours, they had agreed to pay the 17-year-old a reported $6.5 million signing bonus, tying the highest bonus ever given to a high school pitcher, but still $1.4 million below slot value. Aiken was set to receive his payday and the Astros were set to save some change, and nobody gave the matter a second thought.

At least until Friday, when the signing deadline passed without Aiken actually inking a contract. What happened? Well, plenty, and very little of it’s good for Houston. The circumstances by which Aiken and the Astros failed to translate the deal from handshake to paper make this the most interesting transaction story since at least the Marlins–Blue Jays blockbuster trade in 2012, and this situation only stands to get more bizarre as time passes.

First, a...

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When it comes to the NBA draft, experts tend to argue about a number of things: at which position will a player be selected? what is the best draft class ever? etc… Luckily, the wealth of data made available by the great people of http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/ make it possible to address a number of these, and other questions.

To begin, I started off by writing a quick Python script to scrape draft data for the time period of 1980-2014 (see at the end of this post for the source code, or on my GitHub). For the purpose of this analysis, I focussed on some key metrics that I deemed to be informative and useful enough to investigate further, which included:

Name of player (player) College of drafted player (college) Year of draft (draft_year) Draft pick rank (rank) Team that drafter the player (team) Total games played (gp) Total minutes played (mp) Minutes per game (mpg) Points per game (ppg) Assists per game (apg) Rebounds per game (rbg) Win shares (ws) Win...
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The Atlanta Braves minor league system is more loaded with prospects right now that at any other time since the early 1990s. While there have been times since then when the system had a better top echelon of prospects close to the majors, the current crop of young high-ceiling prospects runs deeper than I can remember.

So much of this high-ceiling depth is in the low minors, or just signed or drafted. And because of that, I’d like to take a moment to explain how I construct my rankings, so you will hopefully better understand why a 16-year-old who hasn’t played a professional baseball game is ahead of someone who has been in the system for years.

I base my rankings on a mixture of many elements, including my own personal observations of these prospects, conversations I have with scouts and evaluators, and scouting reports I read online. I also consider bonus numbers, proximity to the majors and age.

As they always do, these rankings will differ from other...

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